Observe the famous Simon Stylite perched atop his pole for 37 years:
Amazingly enough, his 37 year hermitage inspired a popular movement among monks in the fifth century:
After spending 37 years on his pillar, Simeon died on 2 September 459. He inspired many imitators, and, for the next century, ascetics living on pillars, stylites, were a common sight throughout the Byzantine Levant. He is commemorated as a saint in the Coptic Orthodox Church, where his feast is on 29 Pashons.A contest arose between Antioch and Constantinople for the possession of Simeon’s remains. The preference was given to Antioch, and the greater part of his relics were left there as a protection to the unwalled city. from Wikipedia
Now compare this against what the Bible says:
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but I do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 13:2 And if I have prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 13:3 If I give away everything I own, and if I give over my body in order to boast, but do not have love, I receive no benefit.
- The Power of Love
What a loser… I’m reading a book called Diary by Chuck Palahniuk and they reference Simon in regards to misunderstood geniuses who suffer for their causes and monks and jesuits who suffer in order to do great miracles. It;s funny how we know that sitting on a pillar for years is stupid, but people look at it with admiration.
Therein lies the difference, Joe: Simon suffered for a cause of his own creation, but Jesus wants us to suffer for a cause of his creation: “take my yoke upon you…” he says in Matthew 11. And his cause was, of course, made clear in Matthew 28.